Ann Arbor, MICHIGAN and Gaithersburg, MARYLAND, June 30, 2008 - NextGen Sciences, Inc (Ann Arbor, MI), a provider of biomarker services, and Expression Pathology, Inc. (Gaithersburg, MD), a leader in tissue protein analysis, announced today that they have signed a commercial agreement to provide protein biomarker services in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples. The new combined offering will provide researchers with an improved, mass spectrometry based alternative to the commonly used immunohistochemistry method for identification and analysis of tissue proteins, reducing drug development timelines and providing accurate and quantitative measurement of protein biomarkers of disease progression, drug response and toxicity.
In addition to providing true quantitative protein analysis in FFPE tissue, which is not possible with current methods, the new services are expected to save months in the drug development process. Immunohistochemistry is laborious and often require several months for the production of an antibody against the protein of interest. However, the projects run by NextGen and Expression Pathology take less time to complete and do not require antibodies for protein quantitation.
To access the services, customers can send their FFPE tissue samples to either NextGen or Expression Pathology. Expression Pathology has developed innovative, proprietary techniques for microdissection, extraction and solubilization of the protein content of FFPE tissue. Customer samples are processed using the Company’s Liquid Tissue® MS Protein Prep and Director™ laser micro-dissection technologies. Once extracted, the proteins are analyzed with NextGen’s LC-MS/MS technologies to identify and quantify protein levels from healthy versus diseased or treated versus untreated samples. This workflow can be used at any stage of a project including biomarker discovery, biomarker assay development and biomarker testing. For discovery, the deliverable is a list of candidate protein biomarkers identified and quantified in each tissue sample. For biomarker testing, the deliverable is relative and/or absolute quantitation for the client’s targeted list of protein biomarkers. See notes to editor for more technical details
Dr. Mike Pisano, President of NextGen, said: “Our combined services will aid in the most challenging task of selecting the appropriate biomarkers for specific drug development programs. This agreement extends our biomarkerexpress™ service portfolio, and underlines our commitment to enable biopharma customers to select the best biomarkers for each Research and Development program, and for use in personalized medicine.”
Casey Eitner, President and CEO of Expression Pathology, commented: “These services provide our customers, for the first time, accurate and quantitative measurement of protein expression levels in FFPE tissue, improving the effectiveness and reducing time limes in drug development.”
NextGen Group PLC (AIM: NGG) is a provider of biomarker services for pharmaceutical and biotech companies globally. Using advanced techniques, such as Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry analysis, the Company is developing a portfolio of robust assays for testing clinical samples for drug safety and efficacy, and the development of personalised treatment for patients.
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, NextGen’s range of services, which include biomarker testing, discovery and assay development, are employed by its customers as a key part of the biomarker-based drug and diagnostic development process.
For more information visit www.nextgensciences.com
About Expression Pathology Inc.
Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples are routinely collected and stored in medical treatment and research facilities. They constitute a huge untapped resource for discovery, validation and accurate measurement of biomarkers of disease progression and recurrence, drug response and toxicity. Expression Pathology’s Liquid Tissue® reagents and Director™ laser microdissection slides are opening new ways to extract valuable protein information from FFPE tissue, and could provide the foundation for a new generation of clinical research and diagnostic tools.
For more information visit www.expressionpathology.com
Mike Pisano, President
+1 734 973 7914
Lorna Cuddon, Katie Odgaard, Benjamyn Tan
+44 20 7457 2020
Peter Tunon, Vice President, Sales and Marketing
+1 (301) 977-3654